I got the inspiration for this salad from Lidia Bastianich. In a recent cooking show she came up with a refreshing celery-mozzarella combo to which toasted walnuts were added for crunch. Lidia mentioned something I fully agree with: celery is a very under-utilized veggie. I know many people don’t like it because of its fibrous and harsh texture. However, if you use the best celery you can find (no need to search for the gigantic creature of my recent past) at the perfect stage of ripeness, and slice it thinly, chances are most of your objections to this stalky creature will go away. Some chefs recommend peeling it, but I don’t see that happening in our kitchen. I find celery refreshing, bright, and use it all the time. For this salad, I adapted Lidia’s basic idea to make a departure on the classic Caprese, a favorite with us.
CAPRESE SALAD WITH CELERY AND WALNUTS
(adapted from Lidia Bastianich)
perfectly ripe tomatoes, sliced
fresh mozzarella, sliced
celery stalks, thinly sliced
toasted walnut halves or pieces
salt and pepper to taste
Make a simple dressing mixing olive oil, lemon juice, mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Amounts are pretty flexible, I add a lot of lemon juice probably 50/50 with the oil. Make enough to coat all the pieces of celery and have some extra so you can drizzle all over the assembled salad. In a small bowl, mix the celery pieces with the dressing and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and mozzarella to a serving platter, place the celery and dressing all over. Scatter toasted walnuts, sprinkle salt to taste (Maldon flakes are a great option here).
to print the recipe, click here
We loved this salad so much, I’ve been making it regularly now. Toasted hazelnuts go very well too, and sometimes I make the dressing with walnut oil. The combination of celery with nuts is superb, I hope you’ll give it a try. Now that the weather is wonderfully hot, this type of salad is the side dish to go with almost any protein of your choice. Roast chicken, grilled meats, grilled salmon. No need for anything else if you ask me…
Lidia’s show has everything I’d hope FoodTV Network would offer, but it doesn’t. In our town it is broadcast by PBS. I set our Tivo to tape it and maybe twice per week there is a new episode waiting for me. She is very knowledgeable, fun to watch, and as a bonus often suggests the perfect wine to pair with her meals. I was surprised to learn that one of her restaurants is located in Kansas City, a couple of hours from home. Something to keep in mind if we ever decide to go for a special weekend trip to the “big city.”
ONE YEAR AGO: Oh, my God! I think I saw something!
TWO YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with Hoisin-Grilled Chicken and Soba Noodles
THREE YEARS AGO: The Manhattan Project
FOUR YEARS AGO: Carrot “Nib” Orzo
FIVE YEARS AGO: A Sticky Situation
SIX YEARS AGO: The Garden
24 thoughts on “CAPRESE SALAD WITH CELERY AND TOASTED WALNUTS”
I love this salad and I’ve made one very much like this – inspired by Lidia. I would LOVE to cook with her instead of her cooking with her grandchildren. 🙂
This is a perfect summer salad but I could eat it anytime if the tomatoes were good.
Maureen, don’t tell anyone, but I intensely dislike cooking shows in which the host/hostess brings kids to cook with. I quickly change the channel. But of course if it was Greenlee, I would watch the whole darn thing and melt away 😉 Double standard? Who, moi?
I’ve tried many a time, but I really just don’t like celery. I have to admit this is a fun new take on caprese, though!
I know… I thought about you when I wrote the post… you should add some capers, though. That could be kind of fun too
That looks good! There is something on menu of The Mellow Mushroom in Lafayette, La. Without the walnuts though.
Mellow Mushroom… that would be a great name for a food blog too… 😉
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It would indeed. It’s a pretty unique place!
Only been in New Orleans, never Lafayette, but a technician from Lafayette used to come to our lab to repair a particular equipment and he was from Lafayette – used to tell so many stories about the city, he loved it!
It’s a pretty city. Lots of things to do there. My nephew use to attend LSU, but spent a lot of time in Lafayette!
I never would have thought to add walnuts to this salad! What a wonderful tasty idea!
It makes the salad quite a bit more substantial, so I normally don’t need any other side dish when we make it.
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This looks so tasty. The walnuts must add a delicious crunch.
Yes, and if you have a chance, try it with hazelnuts.. very lovely too!
Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.
I just posted a recipe for Caprese Salad. I guess great minds think alike!
THere we go! I stopped by and said hello yesterday…
I love celery but I never thought about it with a caprese salad. I’m sure the extra crunch is fabulous. Your tomatoes look so luscious and ripe.
Those tomatoes were amazing, Phil found them at the grocery store, bought a bunch and we were sorry to see them go. Since then they’ve been a little less than stellar. Maybe another great batch will show up…
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This is easily my favorite summer salad. I’ve never tried it with celery. We drink a lot of homemade juices, so I always have celery on hand. In fact, I have everything to make this salad on hand. Guess what we’ll be eating this week!
Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:
Just letting you know I featured this recipe in my Deliciously Healthy Low-Carb Recipes Round-Up for July 2015! Great recipe; I think my readers are going to love it!
YEAH!!!!! Doing the happy dance! Thank you so much, Kalyn! Always a pleasure to take part of your Round-up!